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Man, what do you want from me? I have enough trouble coming up with something witty to say on a regular post; one I'm writing two weeks in advance? Forget it. Just go enjoy my review of Softly8088's On The Importance Of Spelling.
Impressions before reading: Well personally, I'd have left "the" and "of" uncapitalized in the title, but that's not really a relevant impression. The description doesn't actually give me much to go on, and "Cadence-based romantic comedy" neither sounds like something amazing, nor something to avoid like the plague (granted, it sounds like something I wouldn't normally check out on my own, but that's not the same as saying I think it's likely to be bad). All in all, I guess I don't have much of an "impression before reading."
Zero-ish spoiler summary: On Princess Mi Amore's birthday, her husband discovers that he hasn't been spelling her name right. Sorta. It's complicated.
Thoughts after reading: The thing that most impressed me about this story coming out was the way it showed Cadence (that's my spelling, and I'm sticking to it) and Shining's marriage; the author does a nice job of showing how they interact, and their banter is comfortable without being boring. Moreover, the plot kickoff felt genuine to me--nonverbal cues are a nicely realistic but still funny device to use.
That said, it took a while to get to that kickoff, and much of what preceded it was... not irrelevant, really, but a bit dull. The thing is, the humor doesn't really start up until then either, so the first quarter or so of the story is romantic banter and exposition devoid of obvious import. It's not poorly written for that, but it feels overlong--the bane of comedies and short stories alike.
Once it got past that, though, the remainder of the story was smooth sailing. The humor here is mild--more an accent than a raison d'etre--but it served its purpose well, and the plot holds up perfectly well without a lot of belly laughs. The conversation mostly deals with names, and it wanders from goofy spelling jokes to peaceable musings on who really gets to decide what someone's name is. The rambling conversation, to reiterate what I said above, nicely mirrored an actual conversation, without ever wandering too far down a dull tangent and becoming uninteresting.
There are a few writing shortfalls, however. While editing is good, a lot of Lavender Unicorn Syndrome issues pop up, to the point where even I noticed them (I'm usually pretty forgiving of descriptions in place of names, but tagging dialogue with "his simpering wife" and the like on a regular basis gets pretty noticeable after a while), and there are a few simply poor phrasing decisions (Shining dropping an f-bomb out of nowhere near the end of the fic proved a major distraction to me). Likewise, the romantic bits tend toward overwritten. This isn't a poorly written fic, all things considered, but the problems present to distract.
There's a very sweet, slightly silly, and above all cute story here. It's occasionally marred by textual issues and slowness, but not so much that it can't be enjoyed on its own merits.
Recommendation: This is a good ones for fans of syrup who aren't put off by a bit of sappy. Those sensitive to writing might take issue (and that f-bomb really did throw me, given the nature of the story to that point), however.
Next time: The Longest Night, by Tundara